Monday, October 27, 2008

Almost Sold on Moisturizer...

I tried Laura Mercier's Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 20. I'm loving it and using it daily: it is oil-free, tinted, and has protection from the sun - it's the triple threat of moisturizers. I needed to replace the Stila moisturizer because it just wasn't doing it for me anymore. I felt that when I made the switch from the SPF 15 to the SPF 30, I couldn't apply it as easily and it felt heavy on my face.

So when I got a sample from Sephora of Laura Mercier, I was much more inclined to try it out. I liked it and went to go pick one up for myself and have been using it daily. It's sheer, non-greasy, and provides nice coverage

However, I'm still not convinced on the Laura Mercier moisturizer, as $42 is pretty hefty to pay for a moisturizer. With that said though, I feel that if I'm going to spend money on something, it might as well be on a good moisturizer. My face has a tendency to break out and I have long battled a history of acne. I really do want to make sure that I have a good product on my face that will not clog my pores and cause me to break out.

What do I need in a good moisturizer? Requirement one is certainly having it be oil free. Requirement two would be for the moisturizer to be light on my face. Lastly, I would look at the price. I think that having it be tinted isn't really the most important part because I do use bronzer on a daily basis. It's nice to have a little bit of color, but to be honest I don't think that it gives that much "tint" to your face.

I'm not sure if I'll buy Laura Mercier's Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer again. I'm going to see what else is out there, but moisturizer is really so important, even with my severely oily skin. Go figure. I'm still on the hunt…


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Extra Super (and Fabulous) Lash

My cousin is a genius. I mean GENIUS.

BP called me up the other day after reading some of my posts and told me that I just had to get Rimmel London's Extra Super Lash mascara. She claimed it worked really well, didn't run down her face ever, and made her lashes look long and full. And the best part: it only costs $2.99!!

Extra Super Lash is a thin, short brush that goes on nice and light, but keeps my lashes straight up all day. Yesterday, AB asked me if I was wearing false eyelashes. I was not! Just two coats of Extra Super Lash.

Of course, I prepped my lashes with a curl of my shu uemura eyelash curler and a base coat of Prescriptives Lash Builder primer. This is a perfect mascara for everyday wear and will certainly not break the bank! Go get Rimmel London's Extra Super Lash now!!! Thanks, prima.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Smashbox Cream Eyeliner Pencil

I used the brown Smashbox cream eyeliner pencil from the On in 5 kit the other day and came up with a few conclusions.

1. It goes on really smoothly. I mean it pretty much just glides right on to your lid. That's cream for ya.

2. That same creamy goodness may have also been what led it to run a little bit on my lid and disappear by the end of the day for the most part. While nice and dark at first glance, it pretty much blended with the rest of my makeup the rest of the day.

3. It was so dark at first that it was so noticeably brown. I had to offset that with a non-black mascara, because let's face it - I really hate black and brown together. Ha. It's pretty much an impossibility for me. So I just had an extra excuse to use Benefit's BADgal Plum!

4. I'm not totally loving Smashbox cream eyeliner pencils, but I think they could be good if you're just going out for a few hours and want to line your eyes quickly. I wouldn't say they are great for long-lasting wear, but great for ease and dramatic color.


FYI: It seems that this pencil is an exclusive from the kit. Most Smashbox cream liners come in a little pot and you need a brush to apply it.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Falling Flat

I have a dilemma. It may sound silly. And it actually is not makeup-related. But for the sake of beauty I must ask this question: what flat iron should I be using?

Let me tell you a little story. I was about 15 years old at a debate tournament in Albany (yes, I was a nerd) when I tried my first straightener. It was a 2" Solano Sapphire flat iron with a comb on one side. I was instantly hooked and needed to purchase one immediately. Ever since then, I've been using the same flat iron. I know, it's crazy. It's been eight years - EIGHT! But I can't seem to get rid of it.

Last year, in fact, I decided that I needed a new one so of course I went with the Chi. I figured that the 1" would be perfect for me. However, it seems that this is not the case. I cannot get as straight or as silky as I do with my Sapphire. I'm actually not satisfied with my Chi at all! When I cut my hair significantly to have a bob in April, I thought the Chi would work much better for me, but to my utter disappointment it still does not.

I've been doing a lot of thinking on this puzzling problem and came up with a few things: maybe my Chi doesn't get hot enough or maybe I need to have a comb in my flat iron like the Sapphire to brush through my hair as I straighten. Whatever the case may be, I must get on it. I can't get the Sapphire again because I just feel like it's too heavy and bulky - this is technology from eight years ago that we're talking about here.

Can anyone suggest an amazing flat iron for this slightly wavy-haired gal?


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

REVIEW: Smashbox On in 5

Alright. I'm here to tell you about my Smashbox On in 5 kit. It came so incredibly quickly! I placed the order on Tuesday afternoon and my package was waiting for me on Friday when I got home from work. And it came via USPS - nice work!!

As for the kit. I'm in love with pretty much everything. Here's the breakdown:

• Photo Finish Primer SPF 15 with Dermexyl Complex - first of all, I love that the primer has SPF in it. I cannot say enough good things about having SPF in your face products because it's so important to protect that sensitive area of your body. I, at one time, had the Photo Finish Correcting primer. It's the green one. I liked it but got tired of it after a while. But this is slightly different. It is such a light product. I can barely feel it on my face. It's just so nice to not feel like I have at least six different products on my face. I think it works very well.

• Bionic Mascara in Jet Black - I love mascara, as you may have guessed. However, I think this Smashbox mascara is average. I wouldn't say it blew me away or that it's the worst one I've ever tried, but it's definitely good to use once in a while or for daily, neutral wear.

• NEW! Cream eyeliner Pencil in Midnight Brown - I have yet to try the pencil. I'm not sure about the "cream" part, but I'm willing to give it a shot of course!

• Photo Op Under Eye Brightener - when you say "eye brightener" to me, I somehow think I'm going to instantly appear awakened. I don't have a problem to begin with with dark circles, but my eyes are probably around the same after I applied the product. I'll continue to use it and will need to monitor the difference over time.

• Lip Enhancing Gloss in Illumene - gloss is a sticky subject for me. And this is a typical gloss. However, I do like the light, natural color. This is great if I'm really exaggerating my eyes. Dark eyes and subtle lips often work well to balance your look out.

• NEW! Fusion Eye & Cheek color in On In 5 - here, I'm a little confused. This palette is for eyes and cheeks. But I'm not sure that I'd use this on my cheeks. I like a more pigmented, universal hue. But for eyes, it works on a daily basis or just for a typical, natural look.

All in all, I do think this Smashbox kit is worth the money. And if you need basic products, they are all in this kit. Really, you can complete your entire natural look in this little box. Nice work!!


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Exceptional Chanel

I'd like to continue today's mascara theme by talking a little bit about my trials as of late. Like S, I love to find a new mascara that will enhance my lashes to the fullest extent. With that in mind, I finally got to try out Chanel Exceptionnel. I had heard mixed reviews on the product - that it flaked; that it was too difficult to use; that it wasn't worth the money. But I would have to give this Chanel mascara two thumbs up!

OK, so Chanel Exceptionnel is not your typical mascara. It has an interesting brush - one that will not allow for smooth application if not used correctly. You cannot apply it like you would any other mascara - carefully wiggling from root to tip. Instead, you must use it in circular motions, rolling it outward from the root until you get to the tip. Chanel has a nice demo on their website in order to help you get the best usage out of this new mascara product.

It's not very difficult to learn how to use Chanel Exceptionnel. It works so well once you get the hang of it because it's like you are applying mascara, while curling your lashes at the same time. I find the result to be full, long, non-clumpy lashes that are sure to brighten anyone's face. It's an absolute must to try out. It is a little pricey at $28, so see if you can score yourself a sample - that's how I did it. I got a card in the mail from Macy's and brought it by the Chanel counter. Otherwise, if you can spend a few extra dollars on a good product, I'd suggest going straight for it and checking out why Chanel Exceptionnel is so exceptional.


On in 5!

I just discovered a great combo kit. It's by Smashbox and it's an Ulta exclusive. On in 5 has all the essentials you'll need for a fresh, natural-looking face:

• Photo Finish Primer SPF 15 with Dermexyl Complex
• Bionic Mascara in Jet Black
• NEW! Cream eyeliner Pencil in Midnight Brown
• Photo Op Under Eye Brightener
• Lip Enhancing Gloss in Illumene
• NEW! Fusion Eye & Cheek color in On In 5

Primer is a must for any face that's about to see some foundation. Eye brightener is perfect for those nasty under-eye circles and lines (I've heard such good things about this particular Smashbox eye brightener). Mascara, liner, and blush are really just essential. And gloss is a great finishing touch. The best part is that this kit is by Smashbox, which is a great brand! But what's even better is the price - it's only $47 on (and it's worth $141!).

I just might have to order this kit! With such great products and easy applications, you really can be On (or out the door) in 5!


Ultimate Disappointment

I have been on the hunt for another mascara. Now, I know what you must be thinking - you already use so many! But as I have said many times I am a firm believer that when using mascara, more is MORE!! Daily, I use about four different mascaras and, no, it doesn't take long at all!! My makeup is done in five minutes flat.

I ALWAYS use Mac Prep and Prime and Mac Zoom, without substitutions. To add to this daily combination, I decided to try shu uemura's Ultimate Expression mascara and I was totally disappointed. I mean it literally felt like there was no improvement in my lashes at all. The formula, itself, was kind of dull as well so overall it was just a bad purchase. THANK GOD Sephora will exchange almost anything for you because $23 was a lot to spend on a bad product.

It's back to the drawing board for me, but I'm sure I'll be able to get a good review up for all you Makeup Lovers soon!! Until then, keep searching and let us know what your cant-live-without mascara is!


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Dreaming of Gleam

Talking to makeup artists and salespeople often is a good idea. I, myself, have been skeptical in the past, thinking that all they would try to do is sell me something I don't really need. However, you must remember that while they probably earn a commission for what they sell you, they are extremely knowledgeable (we hope) and deal with these products all the time.

Case and point - my MAC store experience the other day. I walked in looking for a navy-colored shadow and was immediately greeted by a girl who helped me see that the shade I would have picked at first was not eh one I should purchase. It was a different shade (Contrast) that I initially wasn't too sold on. She then asked me what I might pair it with. Ricepaper, of course, was my answer.

She was very approving of my choice, but still suggested another I may not have though of - Gleam. It was also soft, but more of a peach color. I did love it, but decided it was unnecessary. But now - I can't stop thinking about it! I really want to pick myself up some Gleam.

Lesson here: listen to salespeople, but don't impulse buy either. If it's something that might end up working for you, then you'll be back to the store eventually!